Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

CARES Act - HEERF Report

COVID-19 Info and Resources

HEERF Funding for Students

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), which establishes and funds the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), directs institutions of higher education to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act directs institutions to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the act to provide emergency grants to students.

The purpose of this funding is to provide emergency relief to students who have additional expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and childcare). Expenses must have occurred after March 13, 2020, the date the U.S. President declared a national emergency. The funds must be distributed directly to the student and cannot be applied towards tuition or fees that a student may owe to the institution or replace the loss of income.

On April 9, 2020, the Department of Education (ED) published a letter from the Secretary of Education announcing the HEERF student funding allocation, authorized under Section 18004(a)(1), which determined award amounts for each institution using a formula based on the institution’s enrollment. On April 21, 2020, ED published a second letter from the Secretary of Education which further described the nature and use of this money, specifically for institutional reimbursement of expenses related to the disruption in campus services due to the pandemic. Finally, on April 30, 2020, ED published a third letter from the Secretary of Education, which describes funds under Section 18004(a)(3) that may be awarded, known as Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE).

DSPT has also applied for funding under Section 18004(a)(3) of the CARES Act.  The money received will allow DSPT to assist current students with specific financial needs related to online learning for the Fall 2020 semester. DSPT is proposing to provide a $1500 online learning grant from the (a)(3) funding for the Fall 2020 semester to all eligible lay students once this money has been awarded.  The purpose of this grant is to ensure students have the financial means to purchase the technology, internet bandwidth and/or online educational resources to successfully participate in online learning.

If you are enrolled in a DSPT program, including the CTS program, and are interested in being considered for money from either (a)(1) or (a)(3), please read the letter from Fr. Chris. To qualify for these funds students must be actively enrolled in a program for the Fall 2020 term. Students who complete program requirements by the conclusion of the late registration period will be ineligible.

The purpose of this web page is to provide documentation and transparency on all funds received by DSPT through the HEERF under Section (a)(1) and (a)(3). This page also offers helpful links to students (and potential students) who require further information. As required by, DSPT offers the following responses to the seven required reporting areas:

  1. On June 15, 2020, DSPT signed and returned to ED the Certification and Agreement forms for Section 18004(a)(1) grant funding.
  2. The total amount of funds awarded by ED to DSPT under the Section 18004(a)(1) student portion is $6,838 (awarded on June 16, 2020).
  3. As of August 13, 2020, the total amount of funds distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) is $3,610.
  4. The estimated total number of students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 is: 53.
  5. In order to comply with, and protect the personally identifiable information from student education records, under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), the Department of Education does not expect institutions to report information about a group of 10 or fewer students. As of August 13, 2020, DPST had less than 10 applications for reimbursement under Section 18004(a)(1).
  6. Awards were made by members of the Administration (President, Finance Manager, and Director of Institutional Research) according to the following procedure:
    1. Students have been invited on several occasions by email to submit an application to the Administration indicating the nature and estimated amount of expenses incurred after March 13, 2020 as a result of disruption to campus services.
    2. An initial evaluation of each submitted application was done to ensure that the student was properly enrolled in either a certificate or degree program, was making Satisfactory Academic Progress, had submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), and listed reimbursement requests that meet the criteria under (a)(1). Any applications that contained requests that were ambiguous or otherwise in need of discussion by the full team were forwarded along with eligible applications.
    3. The team then reviewed all (a)(1) applications that met the criteria in (2), plus any that required more substantive discussion on eligibility. Of those reviewed on June 26, 2020, 75% were deemed eligible; and of those eligible, all were awarded the full amount requested.
  7. An application with instructions was provided via email.
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